Ferguson’s Flower Gallery
Flowers typically imply “I Love You,” “Thank You” or “I Promise I’ll Remember Next Year,” but Ferguson’s is an elite florist that shows how much more flowers can really say. For example, ditch the carving knife this Halloween and go for a Fresh Flower Pumpkin or Shocktail Martini Bouquet. Other innovations include smiley face sunflowers, strawberry floral margaritas and animal-themed bouquets that turn carnations into lions, dogs and flying pigs. Even the more traditional arrangements come with an elevated sense of flair. (D.J.)
786 N. Garey Ave., Pomona, (909) 629-4444; www.fergusonsflowergallery.net.
BEST STORE FOR STREET ARTISTS
Since 1995, GCS Clothing in Pomona has been providing the best art supplies for the graff aritst. When we first walked into this modest storefront, we were more than impressed with their huge selection of paints—they literally dedicate an entire section of the store catering to the street artist, carrying every type and color of our favorite brands like Acrylick. Beyond that, they have all the top streetwear brands including Seventh Letter, Dissizit, GCS Originals, Quality Control and more. Supporting the underground lifestyle of the street artist for 14 years, men and women can continue to rock this alternative lifestyle. (J.S.)
168 W. 3rd St., Pomona, (909) 620-2772; www.gcsclothing.com.
BEST ART SUPPLY STORE
Michael’s is a well-known chain that has anything and everything you might need for all types of arts & crafts. Chosen as the best place in the Inland Empire to find your art supplies, Michael’s has a wide assortment of art sets from graphite pencils and sketchbooks to pastels and learn-to-draw sets for beginners. If you’re a painter, you can find everything you need here—they’re stocked with painting supplies like canvases, brushes and paints, paper, boards, easels and more. If you decide to take up crafts while you’re here, you’ll find aisles of supplies for making jewelry, as well as tons of scrapbooking materials. (J.S.)
Various Locations throughout the IE, www.michaels.com.
BEST SHOPPING CENTER
Victoria Gardens is absolutely the best shopping mall in the Inland Empire for a variety of reasons. While this outdoor mall has all the essential stores you can’t find anywhere else in the IE like Urban Outfitters and the Apple Store, their high-end selection of shopping places and restaurants aren’t the only reason to come here. Built in 2004, this new shopping center has charming elements that are reminiscent of Disneyland—Trolleys that move people from one end of the center to another, a horse drawn carriage that can add romance to your night out and elegant décor lining the busy streets, as well as a public library and performing arts center—all to make you feel like your somewhere far outside the IE. (J.S.)
12505 N. Main St., Rancho Cucamonga, (909) 463-2830; www.victoriagardensie.com.
BEST PLACE TO BUY AWESOME MUSIC
We can’t say it enough—we love, love LOVE Rhino Records in Claremont. Small alternative record stores are few and far between considering the corporate giants that have dominated the scene, but with their cult-like customer base and awesome taste, Rhino Records is still going strong. On the corner of Yale Ave. in downtown Claremont, Rhino Records is more than just a place you can buy your favorite underground music, they sell albums from local bands as well. They’re also known for hosting live music and different types of engaging entertainment. They even have a section of funny gifts, books and other obscure items that’ll make you laugh. (J.S.)
235 Yale Ave., Claremont, (909) 626-7774; www.rhinorecords.cc.
BEST PLACE TO BUY VINYL RECORDS
Digging around through thrift store bins and your grandma’s closet to try and score some awesome vinyl can get old after a while—especially if you have allergies and the dust starts getting to you. For this reason and more, Rhino Records in Claremont has won our “Best Place to Buy Vinyl Records” category two years in a row! Not only do they dominate the competition with their selection of used vinyl, CDs, DVDs, LPs and more, they have an even larger selection of new vinyl, etc. We wouldn’t be surprised if you see them dominating this category again next year—they’re that awesome! (J.S.)
235 Yale Ave., Claremont, (909) 626-7774; www.rhinorecords.cc.
BEST SMOKE SHOP
Smoke Shop Outlet
You can buy tobacco and cigarettes on almost every street corner in the Inland Empire, so when our readers are looking for the Best Smoke Shop around, they’re really looking for the best selection of glass, vaporizers and the like. Smoke Shop Outlet in Redlands is clearly at the top in having an exclusive stock of all those categories, plus they do business at reasonable price. It has been described as an adult candy store—whether you’re looking for a small piece for smoking on the go or a name brand water pipe to add to your already awesome collection, Smoke Shop Outlet is certainly the place for you. (J.S.)
119 E. Colton Ave., Redlands, (909) 798-4669.
BEST USED BOOKSTORE
Magic Door Book Store IV
Electronic book reading devices are extremely over-rated—our readers prefer to have something tangible with actual pages we can turn; something that shows wear after it has been enjoyed time and time again. If you’re anything like our readers (and you must be, because you’re reading this), then Magic Door Book Store IV will be a wondrous place for you to visit. With over 12,000 quality paperback and hard cover books, you can get lost for hours trying to find your new read. They also have a variety of rare and collectable books, audio books, CDs and tapes. No matter what genre of book you’re into, this used book store has it. (J.S.)
155 W. Second St., Pomona, (909) 472-2991; facebook.com/pages/Magic-Door-IV/292779850794474
BEST JEWELRY STORE
Laughing Buddha Body Piercing
When you first hear “Best Jewelry Store,” you may not be thinking of body jewelry, but our readers sure did. Laughing Buddha Body Piercing in Upland hands down has the finest selection of body jewelry in the Inland Empire, if not in all of So Cal. For 20 years they have been carrying the largest selection of organic jewelry, including bone, wood and precious gemstones, as well as the finest glass, gold, titanium, 316 lvm surgical steel, silicon, dermals and more. Carrying top brands and specializing in rare and custom jewelry, if you’re looking to adorn your navel, nostril, lobes, lips or any other body part with the best quality jewelry, Laughing Buddha has you covered—head to toe. (J.S.)
2176 W. Foothill Blvd, Upland, (909) 981-2877; www.laughingbuddhatattoo.com.
BEST PET STORE
Elliot’s Pet Emporium
Whether you’re a fan of the creepy, crawly and scaly animals, or you prefer a pet that’s soft, fuzzy and you can cuddle up next to, Elliot’s Pet Emporium in San Bernardino is the best place for animal shopping. They have a great selection of tropical fish, reptiles, birds and bunnies. Not only do they have a large selection of animals, they have everything you need to take care of your little friends. Another reason this store is a favorite, is because you won’t be overpaying here like you do at other large retail pet shops. (J.S.)
891 S. E St., San Bernardino, (909) 383-2343; www.facebook.com/pages/Elliotts-Pet-Emporium/171855112827491.
BEST PLACE FOR COWBOY DUDS
Need a new pair of cowboy boots? How about a trusty pair of hard working jeans? Or if you’re in need of a Stetson or other fun cowboy attire, hit up your local Boot Barn. If you want a sales person to treat you like family, then you should stop and visit the sales team at one of the Boot Barns. Boot Barn is a chain, and they have all the latest styles from the brands you trust like Wrangler, Ariat, Justin, Carhartt, Dan Post, Corral, Old Gringo, Lucchese, Resistol, Wolverine, Montana Silversmiths and many more. Yee-haw!
Locations in Norco, Riverside and San Bernardino, www.bootbarn.com.
BEST STORE TO HELP YOU PRETEND YOU’RE DITA VON TEESE
The Atomic Boutique
For all the greasers and rockabilly cats around town, The Atomic Boutique is the only place to get your hip duds. With a great selection in-store and enthusiastic and helpful employees, vintage-loving men and women don’t have to scour the flea markets for great throw-backs anymore. This place has amazing vintage reproduction clothing and accessories. They also sell home décor, kids clothing, swimwear, intimates and books! Hey hep cats and cool chicks, look no further—Atomic Boutique has it all.
204 N. 2nd St., Upland, (909) 981-4449; www.theatomicboutique.com.
BEST VINTAGE STORE
If you’ve ever gone to The Glass House before, you’ve probably gotten sucked into La Bomba for a few minutes. This place is hypnotic. Their selection ranges mostly from the 1930s (sometimes even earlier) to the 1980s, with some pretty trippy psychedelic dresses and jumpsuits from the ‘60s and ‘70s. They carry a selection of gorgeous cocktail and prom dresses from the ‘50s and ‘60s. They have a great selection of quirky small t-shirts for every hipster boys and girls, as well as many super cool leather jackets, lots of men’s polyester suits as well. And of course, the shoes—great vintage shoe selections here, some beautiful finds from all decades, in all shapes and sizes.
195 W. 2nd St., Ste C., Pomona, (909) 629-4247; labombavintage.com.
FAVORITE SHOP FOR WOMEN’S CLOTHING
Nectar is an independent boutique store with an amazing reputation and an even better selection of clothes, accessories and shoes. They have a very cute selection of reasonably priced hip clothing. One of the things we love most about their selection is that you can pretty much guarantee you won’t run into anyone else in your same outfit. These clothes are unique and trendy in the best possible ways. The owners also have DenM, another boutique, just a few doors down, and offer discounts for double shopping at the two stores.
12 E. State St., Redlands, (909) 792-0343; www.nectarclothing.com.
BEST SHOP FOR MEN’S CLOTHING
There’s nothing sexier than a man who dresses well. Men’s Wearhouse is the one-stop-shop for men’s clothing; with casual attire and dress wear, this place has everything a man needs to dress right. They even have a 90-day satisfaction guarantee, and they have professional tailors at every location to help make your suit or outfit fit just right. Men . . . suit up! (A.B.)
Locations in Corona and Riverside, www.menswearhouse.com.
BEST BRIDAL SHOP
Looking for that perfect wedding dress? David’s Bridal has the largest selection of wedding dresses of any retailer out here, and they can fit into every type of budget too! They also have bridesmaids’ dresses, and other bridal party outfits to help make this place your “go to.” With a great variety of styles, cuts, colors and prices, paired with their great customer service, David’s Bridal makes anyone’s bridal shopping excursion one to remember and cherish. (A.B.)
10325 Magnolia Ave., Riverside, (951) 352-2554; www.davidsbridal.com.
BEST YOGA OUTFITTER
Every yogi needs the perfect pair of yoga pants, and at least a couple different sporty, breathable sports yoga tops. Lululemon is the best yoga outfitters chain to every come to America, no doubt. The Rancho location may not have as wide of a selection as Santa Monica’s location, but it’s a great showroom, with excellent customer service. They also offer Saturday yoga class in the store. Get your sun salutations in, peeps! (A.B.)
7369 Day Creek Blvd. Suite F-102, Rancho Cucamonga, (909) 899-1264; www.lululemon.com.
BEST VAPE PEN SHOP
Opened early this year, the Vape Castle is the new kid on the block that’s quickly rose to the head of the class. For the uninitiated, a vape (or vaporizer) is a smoking device that uses vaporized “juice” to extract the active ingredients in tobacco, cannabis and other herbal products while significantly reducing the harmful effects associated with smoking. Family owned and operated, the Vape Castle is packed with a wide selection of devices, juices and other products, and customers give the store high marks for customer service. (D.J.)
10485 Magnolia Ave., #3, Riverside, (951) 637-6822; www.vape-castle.com.
BEST LINGERIE SHOP
Lotions & Lace
At-home stripper pole? Check. Sexy Mad Hatter costume? Check. Black-light reactive tutu? Check. Lotions & Lace clearly has everything your kinky imagination desires, and many of the thematic lingerie items (Charm School Dropout, Red Hot Riding Hood, Medical Mary Jane) can double as Halloween costumes, assuming you’re not celebrating at the Olive Garden. Other retail gems include spandex gloves, vinyl waist clinchers, pink rhinestone eyelashes, furry leg warmers and lip-shaped pasties, though the creepiest item has to be the Neytiri Avatar lingerie. (D.J.)
796 Inland Center Dr., San Bernardino, (909) 889-3114; www.lotionsnlace.com.
BEST HYDROPONICS STORE
Welcome to the Home Depot of Hydro! Opened in 1999, Discount Hydroponics is the industry’s largest online and mail-order retailer, and their Riverside location has a huge inventory of lighting setups, air purifiers, climate controllers, fertilizers, pumps, drip irrigation accessories and other products. If what you want is not on the floor, they probably have it in back, and they’ll beat any competitor’s price. Everyone on staff is an active hydroponic grower, and they are happy to answer questions over the phone or in the store. (D.J.)
4745 Hiers Ave., Riverside, (877) 476-9487; www.discount-hydro.com.
BEST SEX SUPPLIES
Lotions & Lace
If your Rabbit’s days are numbered, Lotions & Lace is the place for upgrading to a Wild Butterfly, Speeding Bullet or Honey Bunny. No wonder the Best Lingerie Shop also takes top honors for sex supplies. Products breaking the P.C. barometer include China Nympho Cream and the Midget Man Inflatable Ring Toss, while the Piña Colada lube, caramel body paint and honeysuckle honey dust can turn any bedroom into 50 Shades of Farrell’s. Venus in Furs fans can come for the electro-shock kits, but not even Baron von Masoch could endure seeing his mom shop here. (D.J.)
Locations in Riverside, Montclair, San Bernardino and Lake Elsinore; www.lotionsnlace.com.
BEST SHOP FOR SEX, LUCK AND CURSES
Move over Diagon Alley, this Riverside shop has all the pendulums, wands, goblets, cauldrons and crystal balls a would-be witch or wizard needs. While DragonMarsh felt the need to state they do not sell peyote, their spice and herb list includes such evocative names as false unicorn, cramp bark, coltsfoot, cowslip, chickweed, madder root, horehound and The Donald’s presumed favorite, horny goat weed. The store also sells Dragon’s Blood, Dragon’s Fire and other spiritual oils that boost aspirations like fertility, employment and luck. Wait . . . did someone just say “Vegas?” (D.J.)
3643 University Ave., Riverside, (951) 276-1116; www.dragonmarsh.com.